One of the toughest four-wheel drive kids on the block.
Toyota’s Hilux is one of the world’s few truly global light commercials. Brand-new examples laden with every conceivable extras grace the boulevards of the big cities of the West while old, battered and over-worked examples can be spotted throughout the Third World.
Nor is it hard to see why Hilux is such a success story. It’s extraordinary robust; robust enough to be hammered half to death by the Top Gear team yet still come back begging for more.
In the UK Hilux is sold solely as a 4x4 — four-wheel drive is selectable — and in Single Cab, extended two-door Extra Cab and four-door Double Cab guise. Payload capacities range from 860kg to 1,110kg.
Last year saw Toyota boost the power output of Hilux’s 2.5-litre diesel by 20 per cent from 118hp to 142hp. Peak Torque is up by 18Nm to 343Nm and the engine is married to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Available solely in the upmarket Invincible Double Cab, a 3.0-litre diesel is the alternative, again married to a five-speed manual. It pumps out 169hp and 343Nm, rising to 360Nm if you specify the optional five-speed automatic transmission that’s available solely on this model.
For your money you get an enviable standard of equipment, with air conditioning, electric windows, driver and front passenger airbags, and remote central locking standard on all models. So is ABS.
With no lack of performance, Hilux rides and handles remarkably well for a pick-up of its size. It’s no slouch off-road either, with plenty of torque on tap.
Service intervals are set at 20,000 miles and Toyota’s gutsy cargo-shifter is covered by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. It’s worth noting that the problems afflicting the crisis-torn manufacturer’s car range have not beset its light commercials.
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